Forecasting Whole Life Cycle Cost Uncertainty of EU Municipalities - Consolidator/Marie Curie Proposals

Together with Lisbon University Instituto Superior Técnico Department of Civil Engineering and relevant research team (to be determined), we will be preparing an ERC Consolidator grant request for submission in mid-October 2021 with funding decision expected in March 2022 (see This proposal will include one or more post-doctoral positions for which we will set up individual / parallel Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellowship applications (see and

Title: “A Framework for Forecasting Whole Life Cycle Cost Uncertainty of EU Municipalities”

Abstract: “Directly and indirectly people and societies task nations and cities to aspire to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A primary challenge on this journey is forecasting the related whole life cycle costs as robustly as possible to create resilient financial support for the journey. Due to the lack of relevant and comparable information, contemporary forecasting techniques are not applicable but used none the less for lack of accepted alternatives. This results in significantly sub-optimal short-, medium- and long-term budget setting and discipline. Such continued forecasting failure then reduces the willingness of cities to engage in long term budget planning. Indeed, it often also prevents efforts to innovate (i.e., the implementation of concepts such as smart cities). This challenge is particularly significant since whole life cycle cost forecasts for cities must span across multiple generations while being manageable during much shorter time frames. The resulting uncertainty of whole life cycle costs leads to hesitance in investing which may then result in an inability to achieve aspired goals. Not achieving the aspired goals within realistic time frames, or at least progressing towards them in a measurable manner, leads to significant pressure on the fabric of our individual and collective lives, which in turn endangers our collective local, regional, national, and inter-national prosperity.

The research to be undertaken aims at developing a practical framework for forecasting the whole life cycle cost uncertainty of EU municipalities using cost data from a single current time period. The developed framework will consist of components that prepare minimum information for conversion into a future uncertainty range, forecast a future uncertainty range, and propagate the uncertainty range over time. The framework will be easily implementable within municipalities for short-, medium and long-term planning purposes.

The research proposal builds on the PhD thesis completed by Dr. Oliver Schwabe in 2018 at Cranfield University U.K and titled “A Geometrical Framework for Forecasting Cost Uncertainty in Innovative High Value Manufacturing” (publicly available at The proposal will extend previous work and will be applied to relevant municipal data sets. The framework will be developed and validated in collaboration with up to 12 EU municipalities in different countries.”

Cost forecasting robustness/resilience is a social phenomenon that integrates tightly with diffusion of innovation theory. For the whole product life cycle of municipalities it covers a very wide range of assets and is foundational for the sustainable long-term success of our local, regional, national and international aspirations.

Image illustrates the relevant Uncertainty Quantification Probability Field Framework from

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